9 Common Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs are federal programs that qualified applicants may apply for to have part or all of their student loans canceled (in exchange for service). Typically these services included: military service, volunteer service, and teaching/working within certain communities. Below are examples of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs:

Career-Related Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
There are a few Career-Related Student Loan Forgiveness Programs which will eliminate (or forgive) part of all of you student loans, and there are also some state programs which will do the same. Loan forgiveness and cancellation programs are offered to those who will work a job of “public service” such as, jobs with federal, state, local or tribal government organizations, jobs with non-profit organizations, jobs in public schools and colleges, jobs with public child or family service agencies, jobs in the military and/or serving in a full-time Americorps or Peace Corps position. If you are working a job in the private sector, in the field of emergency management, public safety, law enforcement, etc… you may also qualify for a Student Loan Forgiveness Program. You need to check with your employer to see if they offer loan forgiveness or special repayment options. This is a basic overview of Career-Related Student Loan Forgiveness Programs. As always, you MUST check with your lender for your specific circumstances. To learn more about student loan forgiveness programs, please see the following document from the The Department of Education: http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/LoanForgivenessv4.pdf

Student Loan Forgiveness For Teachers
Student loan forgiveness for teachers may be available to individuals who teach full time in secondary schools that serve lower-income families. Individuals must have taught for five consecutive, complete academic years in certain schools, and meet the programs additional qualification requirements to be considered for the loan forgiveness. Individuals who meet the requirements for student loan forgiveness for teachers may be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in principal and interest on their FFEL and/or Federal Direct Loan program loans. Student loan forgiveness for teachers will not forgive individuals private student loans; the program is for federal student loans only. To qualify for student loan forgiveness for teachers, individuals must not be in default on any FFEL and/or Federal Direct Loan program loans. Individuals seeking student loan forgiveness for teachers, must be currently teaching or have taught at least 5 consecutive academic years at a elementary/secondary school that meets the student loan forgiveness for teachers eligibility requirements found here: studentaid.ed.gov

Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness
The Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program is a loan forgiveness program provided by the federal government to help place qualified nurses into non-profit health facilities across the country. In return for working at one of the non-profit facilities, the federal government will forgive a portion of your nursing student loans. The Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program works on a two years of service agreement. For two years of service, participants in the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program are eligible to have 60% of their nursing student loans forgiven. In addition to the two-year agreement, there is the option for a possible third year of service resulting in additional nursing student loan forgiveness. Eligibility requirements for the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program are as follows: You must be a US Citizen or legal resident. You must be a licensed nurse, working full-time at a non-profit facility.

Application for entrance into the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program is deadline sensitive, so you will need to make certain you apply before the required deadline. Applications are accepted once per year. The Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program does require qualified applicants to complete the two year terms of service outlined within the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program. You may face financial penalties should you neglect to honor your Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness contract. For full details on the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program, you should contact 1-800-221-9393

AmeriCorps: Those willing to commit a year of volunteering for Americorps, may be eligible to receive some student loan forgiveness and a stipend. For more information, call 800-942-2677.

The Peace Corps: Those who commit to The Peace Corps for a twenty-seven month period to work on related international development (such as education, business, information technology, agriculture, etc…) may be eligible to have most of their student loans forgiven. For more information, call 800-424-8580.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA): VISTA is a national service program working towards ending poverty, homelessness, and illiteracy in America. In exchange for volunteering, you may be eligible to have some of your student loan debt forgiven. For more information, call 800-942-2677.

Military Service: By joining the Army Reserve or the National Guard after graduation, you may be eligible to have a portion of your student loan debt forgiven.

National Health Service Corps: Health professionals (such as medical, osteopathic and/or dental students) willing to work in underserved communities may be eligible to have their student loans forgiven.

Equal Justice Works: Equal Justice Works offers student loan forgiveness for law school graduates willing to take on public interest or non-profit positions.

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